Sunday, May 29, 2016

Preface to Panama

     In my sporadic posts about our Trip Around the World, I've given you glimpses of our adventures in Hawaii, Tahiti, American Samoa, passed over New Zealand and Australia (including the Great Barrier Reef!), touched on Bali, ignored a typhoon in the Indian Ocean and mentioned picking up Jean de St. Pern in Mauritius and dropping him off in Durban, South Africa. (The Suez Crisis detoured us around the tip of South Africa instead of sailing to the Mediterranean.)
     I skipped over visiting St. Helena where Napoleon was exiled and mentioned briefly watching sea turtles lay their eggs at night on a beach on Ascension. Mum and I slept in hammocks in Fortaleza, Brazil, on our way overland to Belem to pick up our mail, a 3-day trip. (Skipper and Ted had my 13th birthday cake made and waiting for me in Mum's bunk when we got back). We made several stops in the West Indies and motored into New York Harbor in heavy fog. My brother Tim met us there. I told you about the Picasso exhibit and the Automat and shared with you what Skipper (Dad) said on Night Beat in New York.
     As a family, we gave a number of TV and newspaper interviews in the States and Mum and I made ads together for Starlac Instant Powdered Milk in New York. (I drank powdered milk all the way around the world--and hated it!) Drove back to visit our old stomping grounds in Yellow Springs, Ohio. (Remember Nightmare on Xenia Avenue on BONUS FEATURES?)
     We cruised down the east coast of the United States. Two of our Japanese crew left the voyage from Jamaica and returned to Japan--our three-year trip was becoming four.
     I rushed you through all of this to take you through the Panama Canal on our 50-foot yacht (along with a large freighter, to make it worth the canal operators' time) and let you read the poem Ted wrote about it at the time in a letter to Tim. Here it is:

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